SPITZER RANCH HISTORY
A very young Spitzer Family from 1983 shortly after moving to SC. John and Patricia with sons Brian, Ben and Jason (l-r)
Spitzer Ranch was established in 1982 following a move from Texas to South Carolina. While spending five years on the faculty at Texas A&M University, we had run a few cows on leased land. Somehow, we were blessed to buy about 30 Angus cows with calves sired by ¾ Brahman X ¼ Angus Bulls, which made those calves First Generation Brangus (⅜ Brahman and ⅝ Angus). Soon after that purchase we were on our way to Clemson University and a small ranch in SC. That move forced the sale of those cows and calves. However, we never got over being impressed with the adaptability, growth, and maternal ability of Brangus.
Almost immediately after the move we met Graham K. “Mister” DuBose and he soon became a much loved and admired friend to our entire family. Mister was absolutely one of the best cattlemen we have ever known. He intuitively knew how to turn cows and grass to profits. Mister had commercial cattle and a herd of about a hundred Registered Brangus. Since he was a commercial cattleman at heart no one had ever told him that Brahman derived cattle did not raise a calf as a two-year-old; so in his herd they either got pregnant as yearling heifers or they became beef. That selection pressure over several generations had created a herd of extremely fertile and productive Registered Brangus. Purchasing a few cows from Dubose Brangus and partnering on others was our start as Brangus Seedstock Producers.
We were blessed to spend 40 years on the ranch in South Carolina where we raised 3 sons, Registered Brangus and had two commercial broiler houses raising almost a quarter million chickens per year. We conducted successful bull sales (private treaty and then annual sales) in SC for 34 years. The entire cow herd was dispersed following our 2016 Bull Sale except for the best 22 heifer calves which were shipped to KS and merged with Brian and Loretta's Angus Herd to establish Spitzer Ranch, LLC. John and Patricia followed the cows in the summer of 2019.
But as we change where and how we conduct business the core of our values and principles will not change. The Spitzer Family has been amazingly blessed to have consistently produced commercially oriented Brangus bulls to fill the needs of the profit minded professional cattleman since 1982. Our history continues to reinforce our belief that successful Seedstock Operations exist to provide proven bulls that are bred alike data driven genetic packages. Our well thought out, strategically planned program allows customers to find a single bull or several bulls within different sire lines to fit your needs. The Spitzer Ranch genetic program is built around producing line-bred sire lines to increase genetic consistency for economically relevant traits essential to profitability in today’s competitive economic climate.
Our entire philosophy has always been structured around the disciplined breeding strategy of using only proven, high accuracy AI sires with only their best sons used following AI. For almost a half century Spitzer Ranch has produced practical cattle, ignoring fads, fancies and the “popular bull” of the day. Instead, we have had a steadfast adherence to the commercial cattleman's demands for profit driven cattle. We totally embrace a philosophy grounded in the twin thoughts of objective selection of cattle for economically relevant traits that enhance profitability, and a total orientation to the needs of the commercial beef industry. Increasingly often we are generating bulls that also grab the attention of other Registered Brangus Breeders.
Spitzer Ranch is data driven! We started early with a belief in EPD (now superseded by GE-EPD)! We breed cattle using GE-EPD, but we also select cattle that are structurally sound and perform under our conditions. Once we decide on who will be parents based on GE-EPD, the offspring must exhibit the functional convenience traits that EPD do not measure, or they are culled.
We love our cows, but do not play favorites with those that cannot live up to expectations. Our hard-working cows continue to keep us in business and their sons sire those thick, heavy calves for our customers which often top the market when sold or yield additional profits with retained ownership in the feedlot. And the Spitzer Ranch sired Brangus crossbred females are durable, fault free, long-lived profitable calf factories that have the heterosis to function in a host of situations.
We collect an amazing amount of data on these cattle at every opportunity arising where those data can generate information useful to your, and our, genetic decisions. You can also be sure we provided all those data to the International Brangus Breeders Association and all data have been used to calculate the GE-EPD provided to Spitzer Ranch customers. Beginning with the 2014 calf crop we are also collecting DNA profiles on all calves for parent verification and calculation of Genomically Enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs) to improve accuracy of the predictions we provide.
We thank you for your attention and we ask you to give us a look. We are small breeders as far as cow numbers, but we are large breeders in our philosophy, goals, direction, and attention to detail. Our passion has always been to provide proven reliable genetics to put pounds on the ground and dollars in your pocket.
HOME OF WARRIOR GENETICS
Several have asked, “Why do all Spitzer Ranch Bulls carry “Warrior” as part of their name?” There are two reasons, one of admiration and respect and one of philosophy. The first real research paper on “Performance Testing” was published by Koger and Knox in 1945. That report gave us age of dam, age of calf and sex of calf differences in calf weaning weight. Soon thereafter, in 1946, the USDA Experiment Station, Miles City, MT reported the first heritability estimates for growth rate and feed efficiency. However, it was not until the sixties when performance testing was finally gaining ground. Still not a popular thought, there were several pioneering cattlemen who were in the forefront of that scientific, very progressive and, at the time, extremely controversial movement.
One of those was prominent Red Angus Breeder George Chiga of Oklahoma. If you really want to understand how immigrants came to America and worked to achieve the American Dream, there is a chapter on Mr. Chiga in the book Courageous Cattlemen by Dr. Robert C. de Baca. (While this book is out of print, there were several available on AMAZON last time I checked. A fantastic read for anyone in the Seedstock Business.) You can also read Mr. Chiga’s inspiring obituary in the American Red Angus Magazine, February 2008. George Chiga gave a series of lectures at the Denver Stock Show in the late sixties and we were enthralled by his insight and powerful message concerning genetics and cattle breeding.
Mr. Chiga used American Indian names for his cattle. We use Warrior, preceded by an Indian Tribe or Tribal Band, in naming all Spitzer Ranch bulls. Additionally, Spitzer Ranch females are named with a Tribe or Tribal Band name and Indian female names garnered from books. We do this as a tribute to one of the true pioneers of performance testing.
“Warrior” – Definitions. One who is experienced in battle: one who is aggressively engaged in an activity, cause, or conflict. A soldier. One who is ready and able to do what must be done. “A warrior seeks to act rather than talk.” If you study the Warrior Societies of the American Indian Tribes, the term means so much more. The Warriors were the protectors for the tribe and made all decisions for the tribe. They were additionally the providers for the tribe, and they were the teachers of the next generation. Warriors were also independent and while they generally chose to follow a Chief, that allegiance was voluntary, and every warrior was expected to carry his weight and act alone when necessary. Much of the warrior mentality did focus on battle, whether against a foe or the harsh realities of nature.
Our observation has always been that as a cattleman, your primary and constant battle is to increase profitability. We are of the opinion that our Warrior Genetics are designed to be a soldier in your battle for prosperity. So, “Warrior” used in respect for a man and a movement, and as a philosophical statement about how our breeding program is focused on increasing your profits. When you see WARRIOR in a Brangus Bull pedigree those genetics were designed by Spitzer Ranch.